I was told I was supposed to be upset
When I went bald.
Imagine my surprise.
Do people hate fox hunting because they love foxes? My personal relationship with foxes, developed as it was far from any actual members of the species, has always been pretty good. The one Roald Dahl book I owned as a kid was The Fantastic Mr. Fox, and owning it meant I read it more than any other. Wes Anderson allayed all my fears of a childhood favorite being ruined when he made his cussing good stop-motion animation adaptation of the book. (I will never think kindly of Jim Carrey or Mike Meyers again after the horrors they perpetrated on the works of Dr. Seuss.) Speaking of Dr. Seuss, another fox-based book I had as a kid was Fox in Socks. While it wasn’t my most favorite of Theodore Geisel’s oeuvre, I certainly held its tongue twisters in high regard. Foxes are wily, and foxes are cute. There are, it turns out, many different kind of foxes, the fennec fox, for instance, which is practically the definition of kawaii and which has gotten quite a lot play around the web lately. And there’s always the handsome domesticated silver fox, if that’s the sort of thing that gives you a thrill (don’t pretend it doesn’t). But the ideal form of the fox is, of course, vulpes vulpes, the European red fox, with his big ears and big tail and his lovely red coat.
So foxes are nice, aren’t they? Jumping on trampolines as they will, or just giving a nutty bear lover a nice afternoon. Do we hate fox hunting because we hate the idea of a bunch of twits in silly costumes demanding their hereditary right to trammel across the countryside on their fancy horses with their packs of baying dogs? That may be a big part of it, but lately I’ve turned a corner on foxes. I’m not sure they’re so sweet after all.
It turns out that England is overrun with foxes these days. They’re all over London. There were an estimated 10,000 foxes in London in 2006 and those numbers are rising, as they have no predators there, but they do have abundance of people who are willing to feed the charming creatures. The foxes have adapted so well to city life, they’ve even started opening bank accounts.
No, they haven’t.That’s a taxidermied fox from an amazing photo project by Martin Usborne. (By the way, one thing that exists in London, other than foxes, is a taxidermy rental shop called Get Stuffed.)
But seriously. Foxes are a problem. There is the story (from the Telegraph, not the goddamned Daily Mail) of a man who, on his way home from doing his grocery shopping, was cornered by a fox. The fox menaced the man until it was given a loaf of garlic bread. The man was not a small man. He weighed 15 stone (that’s 210 pounds, Americans) (that’s about 95 kilos, everyone else). Here is a picture illustrating the difference in size between a man and a fox. Here is a picture illustrating the difference in size between a lady and a fox. Babies and children are not so much bigger than foxes, and foxes may have bitten some of them in recent years. English foxes have become out-of-control jerks, threatening grown men, eating beloved cats and small dogs, pooping on people’s Christmas wreathes. I’m afraid that foxes may be the coyotes of England. And coyotes are the dingoes of America. And dingoes are the hyenas of Australia. So, basically, there are wild hyenas running all around London scaring people into giving up their garlic loaves. That can’t be a good thing. Release the hounds, I say! Let the twits trammel the city streets! Down with the foxes! Let’s stop their reign of terror before it’s too late!
The Iron, Unkind is here, and it’s in effect
Want you to push it, babe
Coolin’ by day, then at night working up a sweat.
C’mon girls let’s show the guys that we know
How to become number one in a hot party show.
Now push it.
Push it real good.